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Free Wi-Fi service goes live in Leeds

19 Dec 2012
leeds river aire

Shoppers in Leeds can now get access to a free Wi-Fi service in the city's retail area of Briggate after Virgin Media Business switched on a small cells service in the city.

Plans to roll out the service were first announced in late November as part of a £14.4m grant secured by Leeds in conjunction with Bradford under the government's super-connected cities programme.

"Leeds is going to be one of the first places in the country to have a free city centre Wi-Fi service and it will be a fantastic asset to shoppers and a tremendous boost to businesses," claimed councillor Richard Lewis.

"This is an opportunity to maintain and improve our competitive edge, attract investment and create employment."

Virgin Media Business will run the service alongside its partner Global Reach Technology at no cost to the council.

"The technology is not only benefitting citizens now; we're working with the city council to ensure it's used to prepare Leeds for the future," added director of wireless at Virgin Media Business, Kevin Baughan.

"These services provide a sustainable and future-proof boost to connectivity in Leeds, helping the city prepare to for the next-generation of data-hungry tablets and smartphone devices."

The rollout of small-cell technology has also been trialled in Bristol and Newcastle as local authorities looks to equip their residents and businesses with high-speed and ubiquitous broadband access to boost economic growth.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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